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Nigeria Records 1,460 Deaths In 330 Bandits’ Attacks …As Bandits Set Catholic Priest, Vehicle Ablaze In Taraba

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The Federal Government, yesterday, said that about 330 attacks by bandits and 1,460 deaths were recorded within the last seven months in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Amina Shamaki, made this known at the opening of Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting in Birnin Kebbi.
The permanent secretary, however, said that the attacks have been on the decline.
She noted that the North-West which was one of the most peaceful zones of the country had in the last few years, witnessed attacks by bandits.
Shamaki said the security situation in the zone remained a source of concern to the security agencies and the general populace.
“From January to July, 2019, about 330 attacks were recorded, resulting to the death of about 1,460 civilians.
“However, between June and July, 2019, the number of incidents declined, especially in Zamfara State, that had been the epicentre of armed banditry”, she said.
Shamaki also attributed the decline to the combination of both kinetic and non kinetic measures put in place by the government.
“The dialogue initiated by the current Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, in particular and the other governors in the zone is worthy of commendation and should be adopted by states with similar security challenges.
“Application of the carrot and stick approach is an effective strategy that enables criminals willing to embrace peace to do so while repentant ones are identified and isolated for appropriate actions by the security agencies”, she said.
According to her, while bandits’ attacks have reduced in Zamfara, the incidents have risen in the contiguous states.
Shamaki, therefore, stressed the need for vigilance and close monitoring of the repentant bandits by the security agencies to prevent them from going back to the trenches.
“Another security concern is the porosity of our borders; the borders aided smuggling of Small Arms and Light Weapons from war-torn zones, including Libya and Central Africa Republic, terrorism, cross-border crimes, human trafficking, irregular migration and smuggling of migrants, among others.
“The Federal Government is doing a lot to improve border security with a view to addressing some of these challenges.”
The permanent secretary appealed to states that share borders with the country’s neighbours to support the government‘s efforts by enlightening their subjects on the implication of harbouring irregular migrants and other aliens in their midst.
In his remarks, Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, thanked the security agencies and judiciary in the state for contributing to make the state peaceful and model for other states.
“It doesn’t matter if one state is peaceful while others are not, we should collapse the silos that divide us, embrace and understand each other in order to help ourselves in the provision of security in this country,” he urged.
The governor wished all participants fruitful deliberations and memorable stay in the peaceful state.
However, barely four weeks that Parish Priest of St. James Greater Catholic Church, Enugu, Reverend Fr Paul Offu, was shot dead, bandits, yesterday, attacked Reverend Father David Tanko, at Kufai Amadu in Takum, Taraba State, killing him and setting his dead body and vehicle ablaze.
It would be recalled that gunmen in the last 24 hours raided villages in Taraba State, killing two people.
In a report made available to newsmen, the cleric was said to be on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv, Jukun crisis when he was killed.
Confirming the story, the Chairman of the council, Shiban Tikari, disclosed that after killing him, the attackers set him and his car on fire.
Tikari alleged that the attack was carried out by Tiv militias.
He also blamed several other attacks that have claimed lives and property in southern Taraba on the Tiv militias, stressing that the reason for the attacks is still unknown.
But in response to the incident, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed state commissioners of police to deploy watertight security around clergymen in the country.
The directive of the nation’s chief came following the recurring attacks on religious leaders across the country, especially yesterday’s killing of a Catholic priest, Rev. Father David Tanko, in Taraba State.
Tanko was reportedly murdered in the most inhuman and barbaric manner by unknown persons in the early hours of yesterday, at Kpankufu Village along Wukari Road on his way to Kofai Amadu Village in Taraba State.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said Adamu specifically directed the Taraba State Commissioner of Police to immediately fish out the killers of the Catholic priest.”
The statement read in full:”The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has given marching orders to the Commissioner of Police, Taraba State Command to fish out the killers of Rev. Father David Tanko who was gruesomely murdered in the most inhuman and barbaric manner by unknown persons in the early hours of today, 29th August, 2019, at Kpankufu Village along Wukari Road on his way to Kofai Amadu Village in Taraba State.
“The IGP condoles the Catholic Family in Nigeria over the unfortunate incident.”
He also expresses deep concerns over the recent incidents of attacks on clergymen in some parts of the country and has directed Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to henceforth pay special attention to the clergy and increase security around worship centres nationwide.
“The IGP has further directed the DIG in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) to provide additional forensic and other investigative assets to the Taraba State Command to aid investigations into the incident.
“Meanwhile, the IGP enjoins the people to be calm and give maximum support to the Police in the bid towards unravelling the authors of the crime, their motives and circumstances surrounding the unfortunate killing of the Priest.
“He reassures the nation that the perpetrator(s) of the dastardly act will not go undetected and unpunished.”
Similarly, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Dingyadi, says the Federal Government is fully committed to improving the security situation in the country.
Dingyadi spoke, yesterday, in Sokoto, when the State, Zonal and Local Governments Executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC), paid him a congratulatory visit.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari would fulfil his key campaign promises of tackling the myriad of security challenges, improving the economy, as well as sustaining the ongoing anti corruption fight.
The minister, however, solicited the support of all well meaning Nigerians to enable the government succeed.
He stressed that all Nigerians were equal stakeholders in the Nigeria project and should collectively work towards moving the nation to the next level.
He lauded President Buhari, APC leaders in the state, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko, as well as the party, for reposing tremendous confidence in him and pledged to live above board in the discharge of his responsibilities.
Dingyadi further expressed optimism that the party will soon take over the helms of affairs of Sokoto State and reverse “the current obnoxious trend of underdevelopment and neglect.”
Speaking earlier, Sokoto State APC Chairman, Alhaji Sadiq Achida, said the visit was to felicitate with Dingyadi on his well deserved appointment.
Achida described the police affairs minister as a worthy and able representative of the state and the party at the Federal Executive Council.

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2023: PDP Govs Task NASS On New Electoral Law

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The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has tasked the National Assembly to immediately set up a conference committee to harmonize the two versions of the Electoral Act Amendment passed recently by the two chambers.
In a statement, yesterday, the Chairman of the forum and Sokoto State Governor, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, said any delay in the passing and assenting of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will hamper preparations for the conduct of the 2023 polls.
The forum also charged the National Assembly to adopt the version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives, as it gives the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the latitude to adopt electronic transmission of election results.
“The PDP Governors’ Forum requests the Senate and House of Representatives (House) Conference Committee when set up, to adopt the House version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the issue of electronic transmission.
“It should be noted that Section 52(2) of the House version says, ‘Voting at an election and transmission of result under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission,’ and Section 52 (2) of the Senate version provides, ‘The commission may consider electronic transmission of results provided that the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.
“The Senate version which subjects the decision of INEC to deploy electronic transmission to the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission and National Assembly is manifestly a usurpation of the powers of INEC and offends relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees INEC’s autonomy and independence,” the opposition governors.
According to them, INEC has demonstrated capacity to transmit votes electronically with the introduction and deployment of the Biomodel Voters Accreditation System (BVAs), used in the recent bye-election in Delta State.
The PDP governors further charged the National Assembly conference committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, to jettison the position of the House to compel all political parties to adopt one method of conducting primary elections.
“The forum is of the view that political parties should be allowed discretion to adopt either direct or indirect primaries in their Constitutions and in practice.
“The Senate version that retains the original provision in the Electoral Act should be adopted in the interest of the growth of our political parties and freedom of choice, the hallmark of a functional democracy.
“This intervention of the PDP governors is predicted on the need to ensure a free, fair and credible election, that strengthens Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law. Only a credible election will guarantee accountability and good governance which Nigeria so desperately needs today,” the governors stated.

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Cholera: NCDC Records 46 New Deaths In One Week

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 46 new deaths linked to suspected cholera cases were recorded in the country in the past one week.
The NCDC said this via its officially verified website, yesterday morning, stating that the situation report was published based on data sent in by the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, for the respective reporting week.
It stated that eight states accounted for the new cholera fatalities.
The public health agency, in its epidemiological report for August 30 to September 5, said a total of 2,323 people had so far died as a result of suspected cholera infections in 25 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), since the beginning of 2021.
It stated that 1,677 cholera infections were recorded in 12 states within the period of one-week, bringing the total suspected cases to 69,925 as at September 5.
“In the reporting week, 12 states reported 1,677 suspected cases – Bauchi (566), Katsina (282), Sokoto (258), Yobe (183), Borno (179), Niger (94), Kaduna (66), Adamawa (34), Gombe (8), Kano (4), Kebbi (2), and Nasarawa (1),” the report said.
“There was a 58% decrease in the number of new suspected cases in week 35 (1,667) compared with week 34 (3,992).
“Of the cases reported, there were 46 deaths from Borno (13), Sokoto (12), Katsina (8), Bauchi (6), Niger (3), Kaduna (2), Adamawa (1) and Kano (1) states with a weekly case fatality ratio (CFR) of 2.7%.
“Twenty-five states and the FCT have reported suspected cholera cases in 2021. These are Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.
“As at September 5, 2021, a total of 69,925 suspected cases, including 2,323 deaths (CFR 3.3%) have been reported from 25 states and FCT in 2021.
“Two new states (Osun and Ekiti) reported cases, though with dates of onset in weeks prior to week 35,” it explained.
The NCDC added that the national multi-sectoral EOC activated at level 02 continued to coordinate the national response.
Cholera is a waterborne disease with a high risk of transmission where there are poor sanitation and disruption of clean water supply.
The wrong disposal of refuse and practices, such as open defecation, endanger the safety of water used for drinking and for personal use, thereby leading to the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera, and without proper WASH, Nigeria remained at risk of cholera cases and deaths.

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Buhari Seeks Senate’s Approval For $4bn, €710m External Loan

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President Muhammadu Buhari, has asked the Senate to approve a fresh loan of $4,054,476, 863.00, €710million, and a grant of $125million to finance critical projects in the 2021 budget.
Buhari’s request was contained in his letter read by Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, at plenary following the resumption of the upper chamber from its two-month annual vacation, yesterday.
According to the President, the request is an addendum to the proposed 2018–2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan earlier approved by the National Assembly.
He said that the projects listed in the addendum to the 2018–2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Credit Suisse Group, among others.
“In view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as at June, 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan,” Buhari said.
The letter titled, ‘Addendum to the request for Senate’s concurrent approval of multilateral fund projects under the 2018-2021 Federal Government external borrowing (rolling) plan’ reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2021 Federal Government external borrowing (rolling) plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for same to become effective.
“The distinguishing Senate President may wish to recall that I earlier transmitted a request on the proposed 2018-2020 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan for the concurrent approval of the Senate in May, 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as at June, 2021 are incorporated. I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan.
“The projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE), in the total sum of $4,054,476,863.00, plus €710million, and grant component of $125million.
“The Senate is kindly invited to note that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on positive, technical and economic evaluations and the contribution they would make to the socio-economic development of the country, including employment generation and poverty reduction as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society
“The Senate may also wish to note that all the listed projects in the addendum form part of the 2018-2021 External Borrowing Plan and covered both the Federal and States Government Projects and are geared towards the realization of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan that cut across key sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food security, energy, education and human capital development and Covid-19 response efforts.
“I hereby wish to request for the kind consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan to enable the projects become effective.”

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